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Star Trek: Renaissance Series Primer

Author’s Note: If you’re planning to read the episodes themselves for the first time, you may want to skip this page. There are tons of SPOILERS here!

Season One

Summary

It is the dawn of the 25th century, about twenty-five years after the end of the Dominion War (seen in Deep Space Nine). Starfleet is about to launch the USS Enterprise NCC-1701-G, the eighth starship to bear the prestigious name, under the command of Captain Neil Cross. Cross gathers his disparate crew: a Romulan exchange officer named Talora; Erik Grey, a by-the-book engineer; Elris Lea, the ship’s doctor and Cross’s estranged wife. The Enterprise itself is an experimental starship equipped with many new technologies, most notably the quantum slipstream drive, which allows the ship to travel many times faster than standard warp speeds.

On the Enterprise’s shakedown cruise out to the Klingon border, the ship intercepts a pirate, Jennifer Quinlan, who brings word of a massively powerful alien force that has attacked a Klingon battle station inside the Coular Nebula. As the Enterprise crew investigates, they themselves are attacked by an enormous alien vessel that is apparently searching for something on the surface of Coular IV. While Cross and Dojar travel down to the planet to find what the aliens are searching for, Talora commands the Enterprise in a disastrous attack against the alien ship that leaves the Starfleet vessel crippled. A larger conflict is barely averted when Cross and Dojar discover what the alien ship is looking for: a crashed scoutship with an alien trapped in suspended animation. The alien, a Q’tami named Y’lan, later joins the Enterprise crew as an “observer” to learn more about the Federation and its many cultures.

As the flagship of the Federation, the Enterprise is quickly plunged into some of the galaxy’s most controversial situations. Captain Cross is forced to make numerous unpopular decisions -- among them the decision to halt aid to the desperate Cardassian Union because the aid was being misused. The Enterprise also becomes embroiled in the Klingon Civil War when Cross is kidnapped by the rebel Reformist faction. With the support of his mentor and superior officer, Admiral Henry Portman, Cross also refuses an order from Starfleet to accept the deployment of Marines aboard the Enterprise.

Despite their disparate backgrounds, the Enterprise crew gradually coalesces to form a united team. Talora learns to work within Starfleet regulations (which are vastly different from traditional Romulan conduct), and develops a close friendship with Dojar, who sometimes feels alienated because of his Cardassian heritage. Quinlan, a former Starfleet officer who had resigned in disgrace, manages to prove herself once again and is appointed as the ship’s new pilot. Elris gradually manages to overcome her intense dislike of her estranged husband and captain to become a contributing member of the crew. And Y’lan, though ever the outsider (even bringing threats from the renegade Faction on the crew), begins to gain some insights into the ways of the humanoid cultures.

However, at the end of the year, the crew is dealt a stunning blow when the Klingon Reformists launch a vicious attack on Starbase 23, killing everyone onboard -- including Admiral Portman. Grief-stricken, Cross leads a furious counterattack against the Reformists’ home base, killing over one hundred Klingon civilians in the process. Though they have come together in the past year, the Enterprise crew seems on the edge of being torn apart...

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Season Two

Summary

Following the trauma of the Klingon attacks, the Enterprise is recalled to Earth, and the crew begins to fragment. Y’lan disappears, and Cross goes into hiding. Starfleet convenes a war crimes tribunal to investigate the actions taken in the assault on Coular, and the Enterprise is temporarily deactivated. While investigating the circumstances surrounding the Coular attack, Talora and Dojar find references to a Federation operative named “Janus”, who has secretly collaborated with the Klingon Reformists and who arranged the attack on Starbase 23. Dojar is apparently killed on this mission, although he is actually rescued by Y’lan before the ship he was on explodes. Y’lan reveals to Dojar that the renegade Q’tami Faction (a group of Q’tami who refused to participate in the linked mind of the Hegemony) are attempting to assassinate the entire Enterprise senior crew and ensure the ship’s destruction, for reasons unknown. Dojar and Y’lan begin working together to secretly save their shipmates and foil the Q’tami attacks.

On Earth, Cross is sentenced to life imprisonment for the apparent war crimes he committed in his attack. The Enterprise is slated for decommissioning, and the remainder of the crew break up, going their separate ways for a time. They are brought back together, however, by a sudden attack against the Utopia Planitia shipyards, when a group of Faction Q’tami take the entire station’s crew hostage and demand that the Enterprise and her crew be turned over to them. Cross is quickly released from prison to mount a last-ditch stand against the Q’tami. At the end of the day, the Enterprise crew is reunited and Cross is reinstated as captain.

All is not well, however. Suffering from depression over the loss of life he had caused in his attack on Coular, Cross experiences a severe crisis of confidence in his ability to command. It is only with the help of a residual mental “echo” from Admiral Portman and the Diplomat (left over from their temporary mental bond the previous year) that Cross is able to overcome his doubts and fears, and resume command of the Enterprise. Also, Dojar is suffering from strange side effects after his rescue by Y’lan -- the Q’tami transporter gave him temporary insights into the minds of his fellow crewmates. Although much of this information was forgotten, he still remembers many feelings and thoughts of his friends and crewmates. He also begins experiencing acute headaches, that only got worse as time went on. And the full extent of the effects to Dojar remain unknown.

Although the crew have come back together in body, they find it harder to reunite in spirit. Grey harbors resentment towards Cross because of the attack on Coular. He also breaks up with his girlfriend and coworker, Sarah Boyle, after he discovers that she is having an affair with Lewis Carter, a disreputable journalist whom Admiral Delfune had assigned as a sort of “observer” aboard the Enterprise. Talora, Dojar, and Quinlan have to keep secret their discovery of “Janus” and their attempts to investigate his manipulations of Federation policies, for fear of tipping their hand and revealing what they know.

At the end of the year, the Enterprise crew has a stroke of luck. After recovering a PADD from the abandoned wreckage of the Tears of the Jackal, a smuggling ship belonging to a Janus operative, Talora, Dojar, and Quinlan discover a secret Federation base where the Q’tami who had been captured in the raid on Utopia Planitia are being tortured and experimented upon. This base is run by a group of rogue officers loyal to Janus, attempting to discover the secret of Q’tami biology and technology. But during an attack by an unknown party on the base, the tortured Q’tami begin to wake up...

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Season Three

Summary

The captive Q’tami break out of their stasis tubes and escape in a shuttlecraft. The shuttle, running on autopilot, returns to its point of origin -- Bajor. There, the Q’tami run rampant and wreak havoc on the city of Tamulna, almost completely destroying it and leaving thousands of people dead. Dojar, who had been unintentionally linked telepathically to the “lost” Q’tami, was killed in the attack, but he was revived -- after a fashion -- by Y’lan, by “fusing” their life-forces together, essentially making them one entity. Dojar takes a leave of absence to cope with his identity crisis, and Quinlan is promoted to Chief of Security.

In the aftermath of the Q’tami attack on Bajor, Admiral Delfune reveals to Cross that they are in fact on the same side -- they are both enemies of Janus. Delfune had previously believed that Cross was secretly working for Janus, thus explaining her previous hostility towards the crew of the Enterprise. Although they strongly disagree on methodology, Delfune points out that they still seek the same thing: the strength and safety of the Federation. She tells Cross that she will provide the Enterprise what support she can.

A few months later, Cross and his crew are faced with a specter from their own past... the Dominion. The crew discovers that a delegation of diplomats from the Dominion, led by the Founder Odo, have offered to negotiate a lasting peace treaty between the two former enemies. The Enterprise is one of the ships that is assigned to provide security for the critical negotiations, which are held on Deep Space 9.

During the negotiations, Cross struggles to conquer his inner demons, the result of the two years he spent in a Dominion prisoner-of-war camp as a child during the war. Talora gets an incredible opportunity -- the chance to represent the Romulans as one of the chief negotiators. Carter gets involved with a sinister Bajoran terrorist cell that seeks to drive a wedge between Bajor and the Federation. Dojar is kidnapped by a rogue officer who is convinced that Y’lan holds the secret to destroying the Dominion. And behind it all, the mysterious Janus seeks to manipulate the negotiations towards his own sinister ends.

The negotiations come to a sudden and spectacular end when the Jem’Hadar’s supply of Ketracel White is mysteriously poisoned, driving all of the Jem’Hadar among the Dominion’s delegation violently insane. After a furious battle to contain the Jem’Hadar and protect innocent bystanders from harm, the Dominion voluntarily withdraws from the negotiations and returns to the Gamma Quadrant. Ambassador Odo bitterly observes that while the Dominion has reformed and is interested in peace, the Federation seems to have degenerated since the war.

After the disaster at Deep Space 9, the Enterprise tries to return to its normal routine. But normalcy seems impossible. On a seemingly-routine patrol inside Cardassian space, the Enterprise is suddenly confronted by the Virus, a semi-sentient holographic computer program whose only directive is to kill non-Cardassians. Admiral Delfune orders the starship Marshall to attempt to capture the Virus for study. But the Virus manages to gain the upper hand, practically destroying the ship in the process. Talora and the crew watch in horror as the burning wreckage of the Marshall descends into the Cardassian atmosphere...

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This page was last modified on Saturday, March 22, 2014.